The hardest part of Peace Corps is without a doubt being away from close friends and family. Skype helps but it’s not the same. We’ve been counting down the days until Taylor’s parents visited (Taylor literally made a countdown calendar out of rings) and the day finally arrived! Our previous host father drove us to the airport after midnight to pick them up but Kyrgyzstan seems to have an unusual way of welcoming visitors. All international flights seem to arrive early and usually after very long trips. Their flight was no different, it was supposed to arrive at 2:40am but it was an hour late as is so often the case. Everyone was quite tired and not in the mood for the next surprise, 2 of their bags were missing, another Kyrgyzstan airport traditional welcome.
Nurlan drove us home and everyone rested for a bit before we gave them a trial version of the Balykchy Walking Tour (TM.) I was excited to show family our city, everything from the beautiful beach with massive mountains in the background to the abandoned factories left over from the Soviet days. I was reminded of our initial weeks in the country and how strange at that time it was to have herds of cows cross your path in the middle of the city or decaying ruins next to brand new construction – these all feel so normal now.
The following day we took Taylor’s parents to Bishkek via marshrutka (of course none of the crazy things happened we often see, it was a perfectly normal ride.) We toured the city a bit and showed them the Peace Corps office in between calls to Turkish Air to try and locate our missing bags. The best part about stopping by Bishkek was seeing a lot of the K-21s one last time before they head home. We had a lot of great friends in this group and it will be sad to not have them around when we return to Kyrgyzstan. Good luck K-21s!
On our second evening, we headed to the airport. The trip on to the plane was frustrating but rather than type out a long, frustrating story, I’ll just say two things I will NOT miss from Kyrgyzstan are taxis and standing in lines (lines, ya right.)